After losing in court by being ordered to temporarily restore CNN‘s Jim Acosta’s revoked press pass, President Donald Trump on Friday threatened to return to court if journalists do not “behave.”
“People have to behave,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’re writing up rules and regulations … If they don’t listen to the rules and regulations, we’ll end up back in court and we’ll win.”
Trump didn’t “win” today, and the judge who ruled against Trump was appointed by him.
Trump can claim that the ruling is no big deal and that journalists had better behave, but this was a loss.
What Does Trump Mean By “Behave”?
During an August 2018 interview on Face The Nation, Kellyanne Conway made it clear what she and Trump want from the press, “The president wants people to give information, news they can use. And I’ve got to tell you there is a large- a growing swath of reporters, all of whom, or most of whom I feel like I have a decent relationship with, that are sitting in the press briefing room who have contracts on cable TV where they say things and they say things on Twitter they would not get away with in print. It would not pass even the most virulently anti-Trump editor’s desk. And so, I think those standards are much lower on Twitter for these journalists- certainly on TV. I have been talking about this for two straight years now since the campaign. I think the temperature needs to be dialed down overall.”
The White House wants to control what people see and read by defining for press what is news the American people can use and what isn’t.
The behavior that Trump wants is positive coverage and propaganda, and he is willing to bully, threaten, and ban reporters until he gets it. The issue here isn’t Jim Acosta and CNN. It is the press freedom and the ability to report the truth.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.